Share with us more about what do you as an Artist Educator.
I’ve been an Educator of an art school for the past 17 years, and Associate Dean of the same school for 7 years now. I take care of the fine arts programme including academic and curriculum planning, staff development, collaborating with other departments, HR, and career guidance.
What’s most important to me is to position this fine arts school in the art ecosystem by producing artists and practitioners in various sectors both within the arts scene and beyond it. As such, we prepare students to take the lead in the next generation of the industry.
You’re also the co-founder of an art incubator, dblspce. What was the motivation behind this venture?
Being an artist is not easy and can sometimes be quite isolating, especially when artists are expected to perform well all the time. dblspce came about as a space for artists to decompress, reflect, explore, experiment, and meet new people.
For the past two years, we’ve been focusing on residencies for mainly local practitioners in all forms of art, from visuals art to theatre, cultivating a collaborative and supportive community. We’re looking to expand internationally, and we’re taking careful steps to make sure that even as we grow, our programming and ethos stays true to us.
Apart from your directorial roles, do you practice any form of art yourself?
I’ve actually been revisiting my past works in performance and text-based installations.
In March this year, I participated in Walk Walk Don’t Run, an island-wide open studio walk, where I had a small experimental showcase of my earlier works and materials, which I want to keep building on.
Having been in Singapore’s arts scene for so many years, what is your wish for its future?
My dream is a bit cliché, but I hope that there can be a lot more two-way engagements between artists and the community.
When I look at my students and graduates, I see so much treasure and value in them; even at their young age, there are so many rich stories and lived experiences that need to be acknowledged and shared. If people just take the time to be present in the world of artists, they’ll find that art is not all highbrow and exclusive, but rather something that can help us all grow as individuals.
Likewise for artists, we cannot wait idly for funding and expect people to pay attention. We have to work hard, build the resilience for expression, and make people want to take a minute of their time to look and listen.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
So many things! Apart from spending time with loved ones and friends, I focus on fitness a lot these days because of my age, so I go to the gym, do pilates, and golf, and I hope to get back into cycling.
I also enjoy reading. This year, I’ve been trying to read more Chinese books that force me to slow down and focus on the Chinese characters.
One thing I wish could do more of is to spend more time to go see art, but it’s difficult to appreciate art for for what it is without thinking about work.
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